7 Health-Centric Resolutions That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight

7 Health-Centric Resolutions That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight

These resolutions will lead to a healthier you in the new year.
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With the new year on the horizon, resolutions are once again the focus of every conversation. The first thing associated with the topic of resolutions is weight loss. All around you, people are vowing to return to the gym and refine their diets. That's amazing for them.

But amidst all the chatter surrounding weight, many of us lose sight of the other resolutions we can make in order to improve our health. We forget that looking great means little if we aren't feeling great too.

Below are ways you can boost your physical health in the new year, apart from dieting and hitting the gym.

1. Make the effort to get more sleep.

We live in a society that views sleep as an unnecessary luxury, an activity best kept to a minimum. Being busy is the key to a life well-lived, and if you aren't functioning on a mere four to five hours per night, how can you truly be successful?

No one tells you the toll that losing a few hours here and there can take on your health. Not sleeping can result in decreased concentration, a poor memory and a greater chance of developing a more dire condition. So in the new year, try to achieve the recommended amount of hours for your age. You'll thank yourself later.

2. Remember to take vitamins.

You'd think all those years of parents insisting we take our vitamins would have had a more notable impact on our daily regimens. Yet, most people I know don't even own vitamins, much less take them every morning. This is bad news, especially when you consider that the majority of us are deficient in something.

Start taking a multi-vitamin each morning. It takes five seconds and could boost your health in a number of ways. If you really want to ensure you're getting the right amount of nutrients, you can take things a step further. One simple blood test and your doctor can tell you what other supplements you might need to take. If you're consistent, you'll likely feel the difference after a month or two.

3. Increase the amount of time you spend outdoors.

If you can swing it, head to the nearest mountain and go for a hike. Physical benefits aside, spending time in nature allows you to forget your worries even just temporarily.

But even if you're unable to truly immerse yourself in nature on a regular basis, try to go for a stroll outside at least once every day or two. You'll be amazed by what a bit of fresh air and sunlight can do for mental and physical wellbeing.

4. Keep track of check-ups and appointments.

"When's the last time you saw your PCP?" This question is frequently met with a long silence, sometimes followed by the awkward "What PCP?"

With busy lives and high co-payments, the argument that you only need to visit the doctor when sick is an enticing one. There is, however, a reason that yearly check-ups, dental cleanings and six-month specialist visits are recommended even if it might be a pain taking the time from your schedule.

5. Stay hydrated.

We're all a little dehydrated, and very few of us are actively working to rectify this problem. With side effects of dehydration ranging from exhaustion to headaches to dry skin, it's probably a smart decision to start tracking water intake.

Most sources state that you should strive to consume around eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily. This goal can be difficult to meet when we're running from place to place, but buying a 16-ounce bottle can alleviate some of the struggles. Carrying it with you will remind you to drink water, and the faster you chug, the faster you'll reach your goal.

6. Cut back on your vices.

A small cup of coffee? Only one margarita at happy hour? Sounds like insanity! Unfortunately, it's also a crucial change to make if you're looking to feel happy and energized. Habits like caffeine and alcohol, which are fine in moderation, can be more harmful than helpful if left unchecked.

7. Nurture your mental health.

This is a broad resolution, but many of us forget that stress and depression are major players when it comes to our bodies. They place a strain on our cardiovascular systems, digestive systems and reproductive systems. Over time, that strain can lead to more serious ailments.

Ridding ourselves of constant negative emotions is easier said than done. This can be a lifelong process, and for some of us, might require professional assistance. For others, partaking in activities we love or learning meditation techniques may do the trick.

Make a promise to determine what works for you. Then, practice it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Please Know That Being Diagnosed With PCOS Is Not The Same As Living With It

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2018, but it wasn't until months later that I realized what it’s actually like living with it everyday.

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In October 2017, tired of counting calories and never seeing the scale move, I decided to try the latest fad diet: Keto.

It worked.

I lost almost 40 pounds in half the time it had taken to lose 20. I had lost nearly 10 inches from waist and hips. I went from a size 18 to a size 12.

Getting into ketosis was hard, but once I was there, I felt incredible: better mental clarity and focus, astronomical amounts of energy, regular body functions. Don't get me wrong, this diet is hard. No carbs, no colorful vegetables, no pasta. The struggle was real. But what it was doing for my body was worth it.

Except for one little thing: my periods had lost their minds. I'm talking bleeding for three weeks straight, no break. Coming and going in particular pattern, sometimes twice a month. Side note: this is not normal. In the world of Keto, it's supposed to help exponentially with fertility and hormone balances; people use this diet as a way to reverse hormone imbalances, PCOS, and infertility. This was virtually unheard of in all of my support groups.

Months and months go by with no relief. My doctor can't figure out why everything is so wonky. She takes me off the pill and things get better - slightly. Any improvement at this point was a victory.

She finally gets my ultrasounds back and she says "Well that's a surprise!" Cue my questioning look of confusion. "Umm care to share?" "Your ovaries have the characteristic look of PCOS. But you don't have any of the usual symptoms. I'm guessing the Keto diet was helping in it's own way. I recommend staying on the diet, let nature re-regulate your natural hormones, and we will re-evaluate in a few months."

I was frustrated, but this was totally do-able. I had been living this lifestyle for months, so I didn't foresee it as an issue. But then my kidneys starting reacting to the diet, and that doctor recommended I come off it. Obviously I wasn't going to jeopardize my health, so I started a low carb version of the Mediterranean diet.

I went in fully expecting to gain some weight back, because I was reintroducing carbs when I had gone largely without them for over a year. I knew that this would happen, and I didn't let myself get discouraged when the scale started going forward.

What I did not expect was to have my PCOS start running lose with my entire life and sanity.

Don't get me wrong — my periods were normal again, but everything else went AWOL. My hormones were going up and down of their own volition, we are talking sobbing hysterically over a butterfly commercial one minute and then fuming with anger over a car ad the next.

I started experiencing pelvic pain that feels like cramps only not all the time and without rhyme or reason.

My hair became uncontrollably oily to the point where I had to wash it everyday like clockwork; it started to thin and fall out.

I also started getting darker hair everywhere. I'm naturally an incredibly fair-skinned person so having black hair anywhere stands out like a sore thumb.

I felt like I wasn't in control of anything going on with my body. I felt like a hairy, unattractive monster. Everything that made me feel attractive and desirable was slowly being taken away from me piece by piece.

I had been living with PCOS for nearly six months, but I hadn't realized what it was like to actually live with it. I thought it was just irregular periods, but it is so much more than just a weird period.

I went back to the doctor, and she explained to me again how PCOS works, and how she didn't think traditional treatment options were the best thing for me. "Go back on the Keto diet. You were having incredible success with managing your symptoms. Go back to that."

Going back has not been easy. When I first started Keto, it wasn't easy, but I got into it quickly. I've been trying since January 12th to get back into it, and it hasn't worked.

I'm now in a place where I need to do it — for my health, for my sanity, for my self-esteem — and I physically can't. I do exactly everything the same as before, and it's not working. I'm trying to move away from the mentality of doing it for weight loss, and move toward positive thinking about how it's what's best for my body and my health.

My PCOS has forced me to have militant control over everything I eat. I can't simply enjoy food anymore. Everything that I chose to eat directly relates back to my PCOS and what that particular food can do for me. I think about everything that I put into my body, and the potential it has for either healing my body or harming it.

I see a piece of cake and I smell it, and picture in my mind what it tastes like. But I know that if I eat that piece of cake, I will bloat, get a stomach ache, and have to start back from square one the next day.

I cut out the carbs. I say no to cake. No potatoes. No pasta. I eat only green vegetables. I drink coffee that has nothing but heavy cream. I try to do intermittent fasting for 15 hours a day.

And I hope that it works. I hope that today will be the day I can get my life back on track. That today will be the day Keto works its magic.

I hope.

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